If you thought economic hostility emanating from the United States would put a damper on Huawei's morale, think again. While discussing the company's products and strategy launch in Barcelona, Spain, Huawei recently claimed that its AppGallery was the world's third-biggest online app store, boasting more than 400 million active monthly users in 2019.
Huawei leaves out two major details — The claim, however impressive at first glance, comes with some caveats. Because AppGallery, Huawei's storefront, comes pre-installed in every Huawei device, the company didn't clarify if people were going out of their way to pick Huawei's marketplace over giants like the Google Play Store. It also didn't explain what amount of the 400-plus million figure included mainland China users whose only option for an app store comes in the form of AppGallery.
A bigger developer database — By letting its global audience know that its AppGallery has an active audience of over 400 million users, Huawei is trying to win innovators and entrepreneurs over. At the moment, the company says it has 1.3 million developers for AppGallery, adding that its active user-base contributed to more than 210 billion downloads in 2019 alone.
These figures are compelling but not close to putting a dent in Google's status yet. In 2017, the latter reported 197 billion app downloads. By 2021, Business of Apps predicts this number will jump to 352 billion. If Huawei wants to beat Google, it will have to aggressively ramp up aggregation, development, publicity, safety, innovation, and global appeal — all the while handling economic sanctions.